Eminem can take a joke, but apparently James Cameron can't. Although the notoriously hot-tempered MC played the straight man (so to speak) during last year's MTV Movie Awards when Baron Cohen—in his flamboyant Brüno guise—dropped from the ceiling and planted his crotch in Slim Shady's gay-panicky face, a Baron Cohen skit lampooning Avatar has been nixed from this Sunday's Oscars telecast. According to New York Magazine, a source inside the Oscars explains why Baron Cohen's name has mysteriously disappeared from the list of Sunday night's presenters:
Baron Cohen planned to appear onstage as a blue-skinned, female Na’vi, with [Ben] Stiller translating “her” interplanetary speech. As the skit went on, though, it would become clear that Stiller wasn’t translating properly, because Cohen would grow ever more upset. At its climax, an infuriated Baron Cohen would pull open “her” evening gown to reveal that s/he was pregnant, knocked up with Cameron’s love child, and would go on to confront her baby daddy as if s/he were on Jerry Springer.
New York also points out that Bill Mechanic, the producer of this year's Oscars program, was the head of Twentieth Century Fox during Titanic's long, messy birth at the studio. Read into that what you will. Or, as New York's insider explains, "Let’s just say that Cameron isn’t known to be, shall we say, ‘self-deprecating.’” Baron Cohen's spokesperson confirmed that his client has been removed from the program—and that, in fact, he "might as well remain in London" that night—and cites "creative differences" with the show's producers as the reason for the sacking.
And speaking of sackings:
And speaking of the Oscars, we'll be hosting a liveblog again this year. Details to follow soon.